With the fantasy playoffs now upon us, odds are you've spent this week obsessing over your matchup more than you did in the regular season. After all, you have plenty of time to bounce back from all but the most damaging of regular-season losses. But as Barry Sanders said in the NFL Network's great "A Football Life" about him, there's such a finality to a playoff loss. When you lose in the regular season, you'll have an opportunity to get on the right track in just one week. A loss this week means no more fantasy football until September 2013.
Thanks to the randomness of fantasy football, a high seed doesn't guarantee you a favorable matchup. For example, in one of my leagues, the top two teams in points scored came in sixth and seventh in the regular season standings, respectively (I won't say where I stand in the league, other than to say I'm one of these two teams). That means the teams that came in second and third face, realistically, the two best teams in the league. While good luck may have helped them to their top seeds, they still earned them over the course of a 13-week regular season. Their reward (other than the money paid out for regular season standings, of course)? The two most challenging first-round matchups. Well, that just doesn't seem fair. That's why it's time for every fantasy league to adopt a rule change I've been championing for years: allow the top seeds to choose who they play in the playoffs.
The logic behind this proposed change is simple. The higher the seed, the more favorable the matchup should be. Let's take our scenario above. If the seventh-place team lost one more game, that owner would be the eighth and final team in the playoffs, earning a first-round game against the regular season champion, ostensibly the best team in the league. That regular season champion should not have to play a team that scored the second-most points in the league in the first round of the playoffs. Instead, in my scenario, he'd get to choose whom he plays. The only caveat is it that it would have to be a team in the bottom half of the playoff bracket, guaranteeing that the top four seeds play the bottom four seeds. After he chooses his opponent, the No. 2 seed chooses his, followed by the No. 3 seed. The remaining two teams play each other.
After the first round, you re-seed, and the process repeats itself. The highest remaining seed chooses his opponent from the two lowest remaining seeds, and the other two teams match up against one another.
I don't see how anyone could be against this. Instead of being subject to the whims of the scheduling and fantasy gods, whom we all know to be cruel and vindictive, we are allowing the top seeds to hold their destiny in their hands. If you lose because you picked a bad matchup, you have no one to blame but yourself. And think of the bulletin board material. Seriously, half the fun of fantasy leagues is talking trash to your friends. How fun would it be to say, "You know what, Nate? Your team stinks. I want to play you this week." Conversely, how much fun would it be to be in Nate's shoes and pull the upset? A boat load. That's how much. Come on fantasy gamers. Let's make this happen.
• With the always entertaining over/under column put out by the Yahoo! guys this week is
• In his weekly East Coast Offense column, RotoWire's Chris Liss (subscription required) points out that Marcedes Lewis
• Michael Fabiano at NFL.com says owners should
• At the bottom of this column by RotoWorld's Adam Levitan are three
• Nathan Zegura at CBS.com has a quality public service announcement this week:
• More good stuff at Yahoo!, where Brad Evans lists Jermaine Gresham as